86- year-old Ed Dyer proves that anything can be done with the right equipment and the right attitude.
In the sleepy town of Ault, Colorado you can find a farm nearly six decades old. Owned and operated by 86-year-old Ed Dyer, the farm continues to thrive under a “if it can be fixed, it will be fixed” mentality.
Ed and his wife Mildred have been married 67 years, and Ed has been farming ever since. With a passion for the craftsmanship of welding and the satisfaction felt by a job well done, Ed is still farming every day.
Forney Industries employee Matt Kaufman has been married to Ed’s daughter, Cindy, for twelve years and since then has admired Ed’s genuine and hardworking demeanor.
“He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it,” claimed Kaufman, “that’s just the kind of people they are.”
Kaufman explained how Ed has been using the same Forney welder since he purchased it in the early 1950’s. The welder is an old Forney model C-3, and has helped him keep his farm in prime shape. Kaufman agrees Ed is a shining example of an original do-it-yourselfer. “He believes that rather than buying a new part, you just fix what you’ve got. They’ve survived 67 from this mentality.”
Ed has built and repaired an incredible amount of farm and ranch equipment. With nothing but his own two hands and the Forney welder, he constructed and engineered four bridges that are still being used today. Each bridge serves a unique purpose. Three of the bridges were built to allow the massive wheels of a pivoting sprinkler to cross the ditch that runs through their farm. The fourth is for their ATV’s, tractors, trucks and back hoe. The bridges were built to withstand the weight of these machines, many of which exceed 35,000 pounds.
The bridges were the most technical project that he did,” claimed Kaufman. “He just read about it, figured it out on his own, and then built them with no training.”
In addition to the various farm repairs, Ed has also repaired several cars with his Forney welder. Kaufman recalled one of these miraculous repairs.
“One of his sons wrecked his car and the front half of the car was still good, but the back half was all smashed. So, Ed went to the junk yard, found the same model car, cut that car in half and then proceeded to weld the back half of that car to the front half of his son’s car. Everybody told him it would never work, but he did it—and he did it with that welder.”
It is inconceivable to some that an 86-year-old man can still successfully own and operate a farm. But with the help of Mildred and a passion for his work, Ed has done just that—and does so in great health.
Kaufman claims, “Ed believes that if he stopped farming he would have nothing to do. He continues doing as much as he can—and it’s a lot— but his health is still great. Ed just keeps doing the thing he loves, and still loves doing it.”
All photos courtesy of Matt Kaufman.
This post was originally published September 18, 2018.